Nigerian Breweries mulls major changes to its Board as beer war looms

Nigerian Breweries Plc has scheduled a meeting for Friday, 8th December to consider making major changes to the composition of its Board of Directors.

In a letter sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Friday, the company said that “One of the items on the agenda is a proposal for changes in the composition of the Board of Directors (“Board”) of the company.”

While details of the board changes have not been made public, there are indications that the company may decide to reconsider the appointment of some directors or reduce the number of persons on the 16-member board.

Nigerian Breweries is the country’s largest brewer and majorly controlled by Amsterdam-based Heineken N.V. which holds 55.95% shareholding, while other shareholders (foreign and Nigerians) hold the remaining 44.05%.

According to regulatory filings with the Nigerian Stock exchange (NSE) and the company’s website, there are nine non-executive directors and seven executive directors on the company’s board. The board consists of 10 Nigerian directors and six foreign directors.

The nine non-executive directors include Chief Kola Jamodu, Chairman of the Board; Mr. Olusegun Adebanji, Chief Samuel Bolarinde, Mr. Obadiah Mailafia, Mrs. Ndidi Nwuneli, Mrs. Ifueko Okauru and Mr. Atedo Peterside. The foreign non-executive directors include Mr. Siep Hiemstra and Mr. R. Primez.

The executive directors consist of four foreign directors and three Nigerians. The foreign executive directors include Mr. Johan Doyer, Managing Director; Mr. Franco Maria Maggi, Marketing Director; Mr. Mark Rutton, Finance Director and Mr. Hendrik Wymenga, Supply Chain Director. The Nigerian executive directors include Mr. Hubert Eze, Sales Director; Mr. Victor Famuyibo, Human Resources Director and Uaboi Agbebaku, who doubles as Company Secretary and Legal Adviser.

The company’s Managing Director, Mr. Johan Doyer was appointed on 16th June 2017 on an interim basis, replacing the former MD, Mr. Nicolaas Velvede, who was appointed the Managing Director of Heineken Asia Pacific Region.

The board changes come at a time when a major competitor, Anheuser-Busch InBev has announced it is building up its holdings in the country (the construction of a new brewery in the country and the merging of its existing breweries into one) as it prepares to mount a major challenge to the dominance of the Nigerian beer market by Nigerian Breweries and Guinness Nigeria.

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